A $17 million conversion of the Mideke Building into the headquarters for Tapstone Energy is set to begin next month after the Bricktown Urban Design Committee’s unanimous approval Wednesday of plans to replace the east alley wall of the warehouse with a transparent glass facade.
The vote went against a recommendation by Assistant City Planner Michael Philbrick to reject the modifications over concerns the renovation would detract from the building’s historic character. Philbrick noted the development team, led by Andy Burnett, was proposing to replace 67 percent of the brick with glass on the top floors of the east alley facade.
That change, he reported, could cost the building its 1983 placement on the National Register of Historic Places. The building at 100 E Main was built in 1919 with several subsequent additions over following years, and was home to Mideke Supply Co. for 87 years.
“There is a significant loss of brick material on the east side of the building, and we believe that brick is a significant part of the character of the building,” Philbrick said. “It’s a key reason it’s listed on the National Register. ... In place of that brick, we’re getting a glass-paneled wall, despite the fact that it’s something the guidelines say we should not use.”
Aaron Young, architect for Tapstone on the Mideke renovation, countered the building cannot lose its listing on the National Register of Historic Places unless someone actively attempts to seek a delisting. Veteran committee member Tom Wilson, whose architecture firm has been in Bricktown for three decades, agreed, adding the planning staff was misreading the guidelines.
“We’re talking about guidelines that don’t apply here,” Wilson said. “If they were going for tax credits or going to the historic preservation commission, that would be another matter. I think this is done very well. I think it’s a great addition to Bricktown.”
Tapstone Energy was founded in October by local energy leader Tom Ward. Tapstone’s lease with the building’s owners provides enough space for the company to grow its workforce to up to 150 employees. Lead developer Andy Burnett said Wednesday the company is scheduled to move into the Mideke Building in early 2015.
There is a significant loss of brick material on the east side of the building, and we believe that brick is a significant part of the character of the building. It’s a key reason it’s listed on the National Register.
Assistant City Planner